Hello, Gentle Readers!
I’m off for the long weekend this week, so no long-form post today; but! Do return on Wednesday, when we’ll publish the next Most Dangerous Game. We’ll be back to our usual twice-weekly schedule again next week.
In the meantime, here’s something to keep you occupied: A video that’s purportedly a Japanese news report focusing on the goings-on at an allegedly haunted hospital. The quality is low, but there are decent subtitles — and it’s an interesting watch all the same. In fact, I would argue that in some ways, the low quality is part of the appeal. Here, see what you make of it:
There’s more you should know about it, of course.
Are you ready?
Although this video is often passed around as proof of the supernatural, it’s actually a clip from a found footage film. Called Ura Hora or Ura Horror (in Japanese, 裏ホラー), it was directed by Yohei Fukuda and Koji Shiraishi, produced by Takashige Ichise, and released direct-to-video (maybe only online? I’m unclear on that point — info about this one is tough to come by) in 2008. Koiji Shiraishi is a well-known figure; he’s also the mastermind behind, among others, 2007’s Carved, 2009’s Occult and the two Teketeke films, 2013’s Cult, and — most notably, I would argue — 2005’s Noroi: The Curse. (Found footage, you might see, is kind of His Thing.) Takashige Ichise, meanwhile — in addition to being one of Shiraishi’s frequent collaborators — is the producer behind a huge number of the biggest J-horror hits, including several of the Ringu and Ju-On films and Dark Water.
Ura Hora is an anthology film consisting of 12 segments, each of which has the same rough-around-the-edges look that makes all of Shiraishi’s found footage work look so authentic. Taken out of context, they do look believably like they may have come from somewhere genuine; then, when the twist hits, its sense of realism makes it land all the more strongly.
It’s hard to get a hold of most of the Ura Hora segments these days, but there are at least four available on YouTube (mostly without subtitles, alas); they can all be found in this playlist, although be warned that a content warning for suicide applies for the third one (the one titled “ghost in japan………..” and hosted on an account belonging to “Edison Chang”; sometimes it’s encountered under the title “woman waving”).
I believe this video on Nicovideo is also from Ura Hora (the segment sometimes referred to as “woman jumping”), although again, content warning for suicide on that one. And, again on Nicovideo, this one also looks like it’s an Ura Hora clip (the sometimes called “magic! paper doll”); there are also links to other videos at the top there that appear to be some of the other segments.
Anyway, have fun with those, kids. We’ll be back on Wednesday. And remember: Don’t go exploring in places you’re not supposed to be!